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Teasing ..................................................................................long waiting....................................................................... deception

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@hopkins

Is there a future for the ECD non-PowerDAC products or will these be discontinued?

Wiill they get DAPI and other improvements as well?

Thanks

 

Matt

 

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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1 hour ago, matthias said:

@hopkins

Is there a future for the ECD non-PowerDAC products or will these be discontinued?

Wiill they get DAPI and other improvements as well?

Thanks

 

Matt

 

 

My understanding is that the DA96 cannot be upgraded with the DAPI due to the size/connectivity of the DAPI board. 

my blog

 

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2 minutes ago, hopkins said:

My understanding is that the DA96 cannot be upgraded with the DAPI due to the size/connectivity of the DAPI board. 

 

OK, so will they release a new DAC with DAPI for use in a system with analog preamp and power amp?

Thanks

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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2 hours ago, murphythecat87 said:

kinda dissapointed that for headphone use we will have to use a separate cable directly from the RCA

that also make it impossible to use the headphone powerdac as both a source for speaker amps and headphone as Id have to disconnect the headphone cable every time

probably a deal braker for me

ill simply get a DA96ETF

 

Good point. I immediately asked about this when I saw the design of the PowerDAC R. The answer was that they want to keep the design simple and the cost down. I agree, it is not practical.

 

Personally, it is not a big deal as I do headphone listening in my office, and listen to my speakers in my living room.

 

I suggest you write to them about this. 

 

This gets back to the point I was making about ECD's current "business model" - which is basically John Brown designing and producing himself these products. We are gratified with awesome sound quality, at reasonable cost, but there are obvious limitations to this approach.  

 

I guess for many it will be a choice of form and functionality vs sound quality and cost. Perhaps they will ultimately offer their cards to OEMs and this will give customers more choice of design and features.

my blog

 

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4 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

OK, so will they release a new DAC with DAPI for use in a system with analog preamp and power amp?

Thanks

 

Matt

 

That is the PowerDAC R model! 

You can see from their blog that the PowerDAC R has a jumper on the back to have fixed output. 

my blog

 

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5 minutes ago, hopkins said:

That is the PowerDAC R model! 

You can see from their blog that the PowerDAC R has a jumper on the back to have fixed output. 

 

I simply try to get rid of this design.......and would not like to pay for things I do not use.

So, just a small box with Toslink input.

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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17 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

I simply try to get rid of this design.......and would not like to pay for things I do not use.

So, just a small box with Toslink input.

 

Matt

 

Good point as well, but their logic, as explained in their blog is that preamps deteriorate sound quality, and that their novel volume control solution (described in the blog posts) does not. So the intention is really to use it direct to power amps, or use the larger "S" model direct to speakers.

 

I plan to test both: with a preamp, and without, and then decide. A seperate preamp will offer the advantage of allowing for multiple inputs. I'm very curious to see how the volume control compares to my preamp.

 

You'll notice there is no remote control. I hope that in the final design the volume buttons are a little larger (the picture make it look like they will add a top cover with proper buttons). Having the volume buttons on top is fine for desktop usage, but in an equipment rack, this may be a little more challenging.

 

The design choices are one thing, the SQ another - if they deliver on SQ, I'll live with whatever design choices they have made - but that is my personal choice and I understand that design/features may be more important to others. So don't hesitate to send them your feedback directly.

 

 

my blog

 

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9 minutes ago, hopkins said:

Good point as well, but their logic, as explained in their blog is that preamps deteriorate sound quality, and that their novel volume control solution (described in the blog posts) does not.

 

I am sure even a standard FractalDAC with DAPI will sound excellent and comparisons are easy to perform.

Further, the FractalDAC with DAPI would be perfect for vinyl lovers with analog systems as well.

 

>>> So it would be great if they offer the FractalDAC with DAPI.

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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16 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

I am sure even a standard FractalDAC with DAPI will sound excellent and comparisons are easy to perform.

Further, the FractalDAC with DAPI would be perfect for vinyl lovers with analog systems as well.

 

>>> So it would be great if they offer the FractalDAC with DAPI.

 

Matt

 

Once again, that is the PowerDAC R with fixed output. If "paying for features that you won't use" is an issue, you should wait to see what the offering price is and then decide. There is no point about whining about it now (especially coming from someone who was considering buying a 20.000‚ā¨ music server...). Wait until the product is released, and then consider the total cost of ownership of competing products:

- on the one hand: cost of a high end DAC + high end music server + high end digital cables + high end network switch and power supplies + endless tweaking...

- on the other hand: PowerDAC R + basic toslink cable + basic PC as a source

If they deliver on SQ, it will be a no brainer.

Let's wait and see. 

my blog

 

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21 hours ago, hopkins said:

ECD just published a lot of information on their upcoming products on their website:

 

https://www.ecdesigns.nl/en/blog/rd-powerdac

 

- "PowerDAC - R" (for RCA out)

- "PowerDAC - S" (for Speaker out)

 

They do not mention when they will be available, as they are actively working on them (the picture is a working prototype).

Well, it seems like PowerDAC R is what I expected and hoped for, almost. Just the DAC with a lossless volume control allowing direct connection to existing amps.

 

Even though I have been designing and developing games since 1985, I always respect the design decision of the the product designer/manufacturer since it involves many parameters influences the final decisions.
Especially in this case, the sound is the utmost importance rather than the looks, to me anyway. However, I agree with some of the points raised about the recessed RCA outputs and other things that may cause potential problems with connecting/using certain interconnect cables and adapters etc.

My biggest disappointment is the fact that it offers RCA only and no XLR, as my amp only accepts XLR, which is my preferred connection. If it really sounds great then I may just use an adapter.
Anyway, it's best to wait and see/hear the final product(s)...
 

Audirvana+3.0 / Qobuz Studio / Mac Mini (256GB SSD - 16GB RAM)

Lindemann Musicbook: 20 DSD, ATC EL 150ASL

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9 hours ago, hopkins said:

 

Once again, that is the PowerDAC R with fixed output. If "paying for features that you won't use" is an issue, you should wait to see what the offering price is and then decide. There is no point about whining about it now (especially coming from someone who was considering buying a 20.000‚ā¨ music server...). Wait until the product is released, and then consider the total cost of ownership of competing products:

- on the one hand: cost of a high end DAC + high end music server + high end digital cables + high end network switch and power supplies + endless tweaking...

- on the other hand: PowerDAC R + basic toslink cable + basic PC as a source

If they deliver on SQ, it will be a no brainer.

Let's wait and see. 

Perfectly agree with you Stéphane!

 

@matthias : Could you stop sending a message every hour that doesn't bring something substantial to the table?

Your taste is not like ours and we are speaking about Hifi (something about listening if you remember...)

You should write to John and stop polluting this thread please. Be constructive and stop compulsively interact with us in this discussion.

Even if the point of selling a DAPI + Fractal DAC in the same box would be nice, deleting the preamp of the audio chain is even better - and the final price of the PowerDAC-R may be not too high.

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Im a bit confused about dapi thing, I thought it was just like an integrated u192. ecdesigns said before that it doesnt replace either upl96 or u192 but dapi also has normal USB/toslink input and the idea of is that the it is independant of the source, so the u192 with electrotos is pointless? and wasnt this already the point of the u192?

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Ok, for USB input ecdesigns mentioned offering a very basic bus powered toslink converter, I assumed that was integrated too. Probably to be safe and minimise any radiated interference from USB it wasn't.

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34 minutes ago, numlog said:

Ok, for USB input ecdesigns mentioned offering a very basic bus powered toslink converter, I assumed that was integrated too. Probably to be safe and minimise any radiated interference from USB it wasn't.

 

Yes, that's exactly my understanding as well. I guess those of us who took care to shield the current DA96 were probably right in doing so. 

 

I'll ask them what length Toslink cable they have tested. I assume up to 2 meters should not be an issue. They recommend leaving computers at least a meter away. This is pretty common sense and I think most "audiophiles" already follow that advice. 

 

I think the Electrotos cable used with the U192 or UPL (which is basically a coaxial cable with the LED at the end) can be used reliably up to 5 meters, so that could be an advantage, but for specific use cases, probably of limited interest. 

 

I'm curious to hear the results using the Toslink output of my NUC, which would probably be the simplest connection. Will certainly also test the Toslink output of a CD player, as well  as a Pi and Hat card with Toslink output, and a Chromecast. I even have an old Squeezebox Touch in a closet. Too much equipment accumulated over the years! Will be fun to test all this... 

 

It will also be interesting to see whether different apps (provided they are all bit-perfect) result in different SQ. My guess is they no longer will. 

 

I do plan on continuing to use the UPL, however, for some time, but that's because I have a custom app build around it (my personal web music collection app) and don't really like to use streaming services. 

my blog

 

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@murphythecat87 Sorry for off topic but I noticed by chance that you made a post on sbaf saying that 2 DACs you thought were different were impossible to discern in blind listening test. Since you are still interested in other DACs like ecdesigns did you manage to pass tests later on or what?


Though it is limited in where it can be used, hard to verify and not the most reliable way to test audibility, I wish blind testing was more popular with non-ASR types. I feel like there should be tons of examples of DACs that measure with similar and extremely low levels of distortion but exhibit fairly clear audible differences in practice due to siginificantly different architectures ( e.g discrete r2r from Holo Audio vs something from Topping), if a few people could reliably prove that with blind tests that's all it would take to debunk the whole measurement fanatic's religion.

If there really isnt a single person in this hobby that can manage that then I think they are pretty justified with trusting only measurements.

 

Purr1n from sbaf did a bit of this, but not enough. I did some limited testing myself early on in the hobby, enough to make me deeply question the validity of trusting measurements alone, I would like to try some more definitive testing myself with better examples (like one mentioned above) but dont have money to spare for something this trivial.

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21 hours ago, hopkins said:

 

Good point. I immediately asked about this when I saw the design of the PowerDAC R. The answer was that they want to keep the design simple and the cost down. I agree, it is not practical.

 

Personally, it is not a big deal as I do headphone listening in my office, and listen to my speakers in my living room.

 

I suggest you write to them about this. 

 

This gets back to the point I was making about ECD's current "business model" - which is basically John Brown designing and producing himself these products. We are gratified with awesome sound quality, at reasonable cost, but there are obvious limitations to this approach.  

 

I guess for many it will be a choice of form and functionality vs sound quality and cost. Perhaps they will ultimately offer their cards to OEMs and this will give customers more choice of design and features.

I doubt he'll listen

but right? makes no sense to have a the powerdac headphone and not simply get a headphone in and outputs for speaker amps. makes no sense

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1 hour ago, murphythecat87 said:

I doubt he'll listen

but right? makes no sense to have a the powerdac headphone and not simply get a headphone in and outputs for speaker amps. makes no sense

 

Its an odd choice - I agree.  The previous Mosaic UV had a hedphone section (with jacks) with a fixed and a variable output in the back, but the headphone section had to be connected to the variable outs, so similarly you could not use both the headphones and connect it to a power amp at the same time. With the PowerDAC R, you could get a small source selector box, but that means extra cables. I mentioned this to them (offering a selector). 

 

A couple years ago I had asked John's advice about selector switches and he had replied that "Switches usually introduce biggest losses (poor low / high signal level handling), it is very difficult to find a good quality switch and these switches are expensive." He had recommended this one for a DIY build: https://www.hificollective.co.uk/switches/seiden-2-pole-6-way-selector-switch-no32006-32neg.html  Maybe they could offer a small two way switch box with a headphone jack and RCA outs.

my blog

 

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8 hours ago, murphythecat87 said:

I doubt he'll listen

but right? makes no sense to have a the powerdac headphone and not simply get a headphone in and outputs for speaker amps. makes no sense

 

Wrt the the smaller version: it is called the PowerDac-R for RCA not J for Jack. Based on the specs I don't think it will suit a lot of headphones. If the big PowerDac-S is max 10% efficient then the same architecture will yield for the -R into 1.25Watts*10% = 0.125Watts of maximum power to your headphone (63mW RMS). A FeeblePowerDac if you will. Also the voltage is maximised at 4Vpp = 2Vmax (1.4V RMS) which is a little low for the higher impedance headphones. It is therefore not positioned as a headphone dac, but a 'normal' dac that has internal attennuation and may directly be used with a suitable headphone.

 

The big one seems total overkill for heaphone purposes. Maybe the SQ wwill justify the exessive power consumption, but I'd rather use it for its intended purpose.

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19 hours ago, CapsLock said:

 

Wrt the the smaller version: it is called the PowerDac-R for RCA not J for Jack. Based on the specs I don't think it will suit a lot of headphones. If the big PowerDac-S is max 10% efficient then the same architecture will yield for the -R into 1.25Watts*10% = 0.125Watts of maximum power to your headphone (63mW RMS). A FeeblePowerDac if you will. Also the voltage is maximised at 4Vpp = 2Vmax (1.4V RMS) which is a little low for the higher impedance headphones. It is therefore not positioned as a headphone dac, but a 'normal' dac that has internal attennuation and may directly be used with a suitable headphone.

 

The impendance/power aspect is a good point, which I was wondering about myself. My current headphone amplifier has two jacks - one for low and one for high impedance. Specs, to illustrate are: 400mW output power @32Ohm, 7Vrms output voltage.  

I know ECD has tested the PowerDAC R with Beyerdynamic DT990 600 Ohm headphones - possibly others - so I assume at least those, and lower impendance/higher sensitivity phones, should work well - but there is such a variety of headphones now, it may be worth checking with them for more exotic models. The fact that there are 13 volume settings with 3db steps is also something to keep in mind.

my blog

 

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35 minutes ago, hopkins said:

 

The impendance/power aspect is a good point, which I was wondering about myself. My current headphone amplifier has two jacks - one for low and one for high impedance. Specs, to illustrate are: 400mW output power @32Ohm, 7Vrms output voltage.  

I know ECD has tested the PowerDAC R with Beyerdynamic DT990 600 Ohm headphones - possibly others - so I assume at least those, and lower impendance/higher sensitivity phones, should work well - but there is such a variety of headphones now, it may be worth checking with them for more exotic models. The fact that there are 13 volume settings with 3db steps is also something to keep in mind.

Agree, and we should keep in mind that this new Powerdac R has around 30 Ohm output impedance so probably it will not work that well with 32 Ohm headphones. In my opinion it is more a normal DAC but with easy-to-drive-headphone compatibility. The better drive capability compared with the current generation fractal dac would still be a nice thing for line level use.  

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53 minutes ago, hopkins said:

The fact that there are 13 volume settings with 3db steps is also something to keep in mind.

As I remember it it was 10 steps for the R version and 13 steps for the speaker powerdac.

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18 minutes ago, realDHT said:

Agree, and we should keep in mind that this new Powerdac R has around 30 Ohm output impedance so probably it will not work that well with 32 Ohm headphones. In my opinion it is more a normal DAC but with easy-to-drive-headphone compatibility.

Actually with this in mind it does make sense not to have a built in headphone jack. 

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